Margaret of Valois
Margaret of Valois, b. May 14, 1553, d. Mar. 27, 1615, was the youngest
daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de Medicis. In 1572 she was
forced to marry the Protestant Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV) to seal
a Catholic-Protestant reconciliation. Margaret was involved in a number
of extramarital love affairs at the courts of both her brother Henry III
at Paris and her husband at Nerac. Expelled from the royal court for her
political intrigues, she returned to the unwilling Navarre in 1584. After
taking up arms against her husband, Margaret was banished (1586) to the
castle of Usson in Auvergne, where she soon took control. In 1599, ten years
after Henry of Navarre's accession to the throne, she consented to the annulment
of her marriage. Margaret's charm and literary talent were admired by the
leading writers of the age. Her memoirs were translated in 1892. She was
the subject of Patrice Chereau's 1994 film biography Queen Margot.
|One likely prototype for the 16th Century French queen mentioned in Chapter
22 is Margaret of Valois.
J. H. M. Salmon, from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1997
Bibliography: Haldane, Charlotte, Queen of Hearts (1968); Sealy,
Robert, The Myth of Reine Margot (1994).
More on Queen Margot at the Academy of Bordeaux Page (in French)
There's another portrait of her at their "Henry and his Wives"